Mon May 24, 2004 1:15 pm

:o I suspect that if Kerry gets elected the BIG gun grab issue will raise its ugly head again as it was all during the Clinton reign years. So I am posting this bit of news as a reminder of what could happen.
Subject: Only the Truth
From: Ed Chenel, A police officer in Australia

Hi Yanks,
I  thought you all would like to see the real figures from Down Under. 

It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were forced by a new law to surrender their 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by our own government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more than $500 million dollars.  (That's $780.79 for every gun collected and destroyed. - RRP)

The first year results are now in: Australia-wide, homicides are  up 3.2 percent, Australia-wide, assaults are up 8.6 percent;
Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)! 

In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent.  Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the criminals did not.

While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12 months, since the criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed.

There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the elderly.

Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort and expense was expended in "successfully ridding Australian society of guns."  

I suspect that you
won't see this on the American evening news or hear your governor or members of the state Assembly disseminating this information.

The Australian experience proves it.  Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws affect only the law-abiding citizens. 

Take note, you Americans, before it's to late!

Mon May 24, 2004 8:27 pm

Horse puckey from one end to the other. The premiss is invalid. The conclusions are invalid. Even the basic data is wrong. Here is that Snopes has to say about this urban legend:

Origins: Although
the old adage says that "Figures don't lie, but liars figure," those who seek to influence public opinion often employ a variety of means to slant statistical figures into seemingly supporting their point of view:

Percentages by themselves often tell far from a complete story, particularly when they involve small sample sizes which do not adequately mask normal fluctuations or the potential influence of a number of extraneous factors affecting the phenomenon under study. A statement such as "The number of deaths attributable to cancer increased by 2% between 1973 and 1983" is probably much more significant if the number of cancer deaths increased by twenty thousand among a population of one million than if they increased by two among a population of one hundred. (In the latter case, for example, two people who already had cancer could have moved into an otherwise cancer-free small town, but it's far less likely that immigration would completely account for an increase of twenty thousand cancer cases amidst a city of one million.)

Context is especially important, and percentages alone don't provide context. A statement such as "The home run total in the American League jumped by an astounding 50% between 1960 and 1961" sounds misleadingly impressive if you don't know that after 1960, the American League expanded by two teams and increased the length of its schedule, thereby adding two hundred more games to the season.

Most importantly, percentages don't establish cause-and-effect relationships — at best they highlight correlations which may be due to any number of factors. If (to continue our previous example), the total number of home runs hit by all teams increased by 30% from one year to the next while the number of games remained the same, a great many people might claim that the baseballs used in the latter year had obviously been "juiced" (i.e., manufactured in such a way as to cause them to travel farther when hit). But a number of other unconsidered factors (individually or collectively) might be responsible for the increase, such as an abundance of warm weather, or an expansion in the number of teams which brought more inexperienced and ineffective pitchers into the league.
In the specific case offered here, context is the most important factor. The piece quoted above leads the reader to believe that much of the Australian citizenry owned handguns until their ownership was made illegal and all firearms owned by "law-abiding citizens" were collected by the government through a buy-back program in 1997. This is not so. Australian citizens do not (and never did) have a constitutional right to own firearms — even before the 1997 buyback program, handgun ownership in Australia was restricted to certain groups, such as those needing weapons for occupational reasons, members of approved sporting clubs, hunters, and collectors. Moreover, the 1997 buyback program did not take away all the guns owned by these groups; only some types of firearms (primarily semi-automatic and pump-action weapons) were banned. And even with the ban in effect, those who can demonstrate a legitimate need to possess prohibited categories of firearms can petition for exemptions from the law.
Given this context, any claims based on statistics (even accurate ones) which posit a cause-and-effect relationship between the gun buyback program and increased crime rates because "criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed" are automatically suspect, since the average Australian citizen didn't own firearms even before the buyback. But beyond that, most of the statistics offered here are misleading and present only "first year results" where long-term trends need to be considered in order to draw valid cause-and-effect conclusions.

For example, the first entry states that "Homicides are up 3.2%." This statistic is misleading because it reflects only the absolute number of homicides rather than the homicide rate. (A country with a rapidly-growing population, for example, might experience a higher number of crimes even while its overall crime rate decreased.) An examination of statistics from the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) reveals that the overall homicide rate in Australia has changed little over the past decade and actually dipped slightly after the 1997 gun buy-back program. (The chart found at this link also demonstrates how easily statistics based on small sample sizes can mislead, as when the homicide rate in Tasmania increased nearly eight-fold in one year based on a single incident in which 35 people were killed.)

Then we have the claim that "In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent." This is another example of how misleading statistics can be when the underlying numbers are not provided: Victoria, a state with a population of over four-and-a-half million people in 1997, experienced 7 firearm-related homicides in 1996 and 19 firearm-related homicides in 1997 (an increase of 171%, not 300%). An additional twelve homicides amongst a population of 4.5 million is not statistically significant, nor does this single-year statistic adequately reflect long-term trends. Moreover, the opening paragraph mixes two very different types of statistics — number of homicides vs. percentage of homicides committed with firearms. In the latter case, it should be noted that the Australia-wide percentage of homicides committed with firearms is now lower than it was before the gun buy-back program, and lower than it has been at any point during the past ten years. (In the former case, the absolute number of firearm homicides in Australia in 1998-99 was the lowest in the past ten years.)

Other claims offered here, such as the statement that "While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12 months" and "There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the elderly" are even more difficult to evaluate, because they don't offer any figures or standards of measurement at all. Do they deal with absolute numbers, or percentages? Do they reflect all incidents of crime, or only those committed with firearms? How much of an increase constitutes a "dramatic" increase? According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the proportion of firearms used to commit armed robbery has actually declined over the last several years:

1995 - 27.8%
1996 - 25.3%
1997 - 24.1%
1998 - 17.6%
1999 - 15.2%
2000 - 14.0%

The ABS does report that the number of assaults on victims aged 65 and over has increased over the last few years, but hardly in a proportion one would describe as "dramatic":

Number of victims of assault aged 65 and over:
1996 - 1474
1997 - 1662 (12.8% increase from previous year)
1998 - 1663 (0.06% increase from previous year)
1999 - 1793 (7.8% increase from previous year)

The main point to be learned here is that determining the effect of changes in Australia's gun ownership laws and the government's firearm buy-back program on crime rates requires a complex long-term analysis and can't be discerned from the small, mixed grab bag of short-term statistics offered here. And no matter what the outcome of that analysis, the results aren't necessarily applicable to the USA, where laws regarding gun ownership are (and always have been) much different than those in Australia.

Last updated: 28 January 2004

Mon May 24, 2004 9:08 pm


What would be the crime rate in Kennesaw, GA :?: :?:

Mon May 24, 2004 10:17 pm


This is an issue that honest people can disagree on, but we all know, or should know, that the most important part is the uncertainty whether any individual is armed or not. It's that uncertainty that makes all of us safer regardless of our opinions regarding concealed carry and gun ownership in general. It's shameful that the responsibility for the safety we all share is resisted by many of the beneficiaries, and only promoted by the small minority who will actually take the necessary steps to qualify for concealed carry... as I intend to. Ohio has just passed the legislation to make it possible... finally!

Tue May 25, 2004 7:13 am

I agree completely with what you said. The "Ed Chenel" essay however is totaly BS. As has been observed in other venues, someone can't have much faith in the value of their convictions if they feel like they have to deliberately lie to support it.

Wed May 26, 2004 12:29 am

Horse puckey!!! Careful guys, we don't want this to get rough. We're dealing with guns here. I went to the NRA Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh a few weeks ago and did not see anything unusual; no demonstrators, no funny looking people with swastikas tattooed on their foreheads, chiefly a bunch of ordinary and clean cut appearing middle age and retirement age guys (and quite a few gals). I understand that 80% of the NRA membership resides within 300 miles of Pgh. Here in PA a person can be licensed to carry a firearm for self-defense (contingent on a background check) and PA is a leading eastern hunting state (about 250,000 deer and 1,000 bear legally taken/year and last year I thinkaround 50 elk were permitted to be taken). The 2nd Amendment has become an emotional and political issue because crimes have been committed with firearms in the wrong hands. As Jim pointed out, statistics can be used to support an issue and when emotions enter the scene logic and practicality may be cast aside.

Wed May 26, 2004 7:44 pm

I personally do not believe that any change in administration in this country will ever force the citizens of this country to give up their firearms. I support gun control, but I also own 14 firearms, pistols, shotguns, rifles, even an industrial 8 gauge used to blow buildup from the inside of large kilns. Many of the guns that people in this country own are heirlooms passed down through the generations. If legislation were passed that made firearms illegal, then about 80% of the gunowners I know would at that time become criminals, because there is simply no way that they would ever turn them over to the government. There are not enough law-enforcement officers to enforce any type of legislation that would ban personal gun ownership.
I advocate certain gun control measures, better backgound checks, assault weapon bans, only because these measures have proven effective at preventing crime. If you want to shoot a fully-automatic rifle, join the Marine Corps like I did. You'll shoot more rounds than you ever hoped too, and it won't cost you a cent (.50 cal rounds run about $12 a shot).
Gun control is another smokescreen issue, used to divert the attention of the American people from real issues like Tort reform, the economy, the environment, civil liberties, energy policies, urban sprawl, etc.

Wed Jun 30, 2004 10:25 pm

Gentlemen, I have the conviction that gun control does lead to higher crime rate.....George is right on the nail. I have several assault rifles and several battle rifles amongst my collection and mine have never harmed a soul. Our government need to ENFORCE the current laws regarding criminal USE of firearms.......not the firearms themselves. As long as the laws have no bite, and justice has no teeth......we will continue to have problems related to improper use of firearms. I further feel that a citizen with no criminal background should have the right to own any type of firearm he/she chooses. By the way.....the cost of a .50 cal. BMG round is $1.50 a shot. George.....Missouri recently passed the CCW law (finally!) and my permits on it's way also. Our right to posses firearms will not be taken from us by the government, I believe it will be taken by voters and law enforcement will not collect them, it will be the military. Has everyone forgotten about Germany-1936?.....I believe at that time this will become the senario.

Wed Jun 30, 2004 10:52 pm

This is one of those issues I don't talk much about (because I don't want people to know that I have firearms in my house), but I fell very strongly about the right to own.
As Charleton Heston (sp?) said, "Only from these cold, dead hands!"
or something like that.... :)

Sun Oct 10, 2004 8:19 am

just courious if many of the people of ohio has followed through with getting their conceal carry permits?
I just renewed mine had it for over 8 years.

Sun Oct 10, 2004 10:35 am

MADSCIENTIST wrote: If legislation were passed that made firearms illegal, then about 80% of the gunowners I know would at that time become criminals, because there is simply no way that they would ever turn them over to the government. There are not enough law-enforcement officers to enforce any type of legislation that would ban personal gun ownership.

Add to our resolve the difficulty of even knowing where the guns are. Many of mine have a history that is impossible to know, even though they all carry serial numbers. If the gun grabbers are clever enough to find the information, I'd like to know more about the history of the Springfield Trapdoor on display in my office, among others.

Sun Oct 10, 2004 12:36 pm

K, gonna stick in my 2 cents worth here.

Here in Canada our violent crime rate is probably similar per/capita with the US for most such as rape, assault etc. However, our rate of violent crimes committed with firearms is nowhere near the per/capita rate in the US. Whatever the reason for that is, I am not quite sure and I ain't guessing :!: :roll: :roll: :D

We have always had the right to bear arms. No FAC's, FOP's or any of that garbage was ever required. Very seldom would you actually hear of a violent crime committed with a gun. A knife - sure, baseball bat - of course, a vehicle - sometimes, but very seldom a gun.

Then some moron politician decided that the tree-huggers, Brigitte Bardot, PETA, city-slickers and all the other "we know what is better for you than you do types" were smarter than the rest of us and decided to lobby for gun control. :roll: :idea: :roll:

The Federal Government decided about 10 years ago that a National Firearms Registry was required and passed legislation to enact the laws required to force gun control upon us and enable the National Fire Arms Registry. The sole motive of this was to take away the right of country folk to go hunting on their properties. An interesting by-product was a humongeous tax grab which has generated millions per year in licensing fees.

Get this, 10 years and over ONE BILLION dollars later :!: :roll: :roll: :oops: :roll: :roll: , we still have only about 40 to 50 % of the nations weapons registered and we still have the same or lower per/capita gun crime level as we did 10 years ago. The only other gain seems to have been in fees.

The point - Governmental Control, an enourmous tax grab and appeasement for all those who wish to CONTROL our lives. Personally, I think they are all nuts.

Guns DON'T KILL :!: People kill :!: Whether it be a knife, a fist or another instrument, it is PEOPLE WHO KILL PEOPLE, not weapons.

Until those who are so intellectually superior than the rest of us unwashed masses get this point into their thick skulls, we will have this gigantic divisive problem as well as the enormous costs that are associated with it pestering us for many, many years to come.

I really think we need intelligent, down to earth people with common sense and a desire to actually do what is right represent us either in the Congress/Senate, or in the House of Parliament/Senate. As long as we have wishy washy, please all the special interest and lobby groups and not the vast electorate itself, politicians running our Countries, then we are going to have these kind of problems.

Just my opinion though, and we all know what that is worth :roll:

Sun Oct 10, 2004 2:08 pm

Rudi wrote:I really think we need intelligent, down to earth people with common sense and a desire to actually do what is right represent us either in the Congress/Senate, or in the House of Parliament/Senate. As long as we have wishy washy, please all the special interest and lobby groups and not the vast electorate itself, politicians running our Countries, then we are going to have these kind of problems.

That isn't going to happen until the voters get off their own lazy asses and 1) learn something about the candidates and 2) actually bother to vote.

In the meanwhile, the winners in the elections will be whoever runs the most slick ads on TV. The formula for winning at that is special interest money.

Having held public office, I have a little first hand experience on this. To point 1 above, our current mayor leaves a nice enough first impression. However, he never thinks through anything and votes whichever way he thinks will be liked with whoever he is currently trying to get in the good graces of. A number of years back he was caught red-handed pulling up and hauling away my campaign signs. To point 2 above, I once lost an election by 1 vote. I had more people than that tell me afterwards that they voted for me but in fact hadn't bothered to vote at all. (I can read the voter records just as easily as anyone else can.)

By and large, we get the quality of lawmakers we choose to accept.

I have some comments on the gun issue that started this thread which I may post later.

Sun Oct 10, 2004 2:55 pm


I heartily agree with your sentiments. One of the major problems, at least here that I see with our education system is that CIVICS is no longer taught in our schools :shock: :? :(

How can one learn how to be a good citizen, one who does ones duty and carries it out to the best of their ability, if one does not know how :?: :idea: :?: :roll:

I blame a lot of our current lawmakers for this. They seem to adhere to the school of thought that prefers to keep them stupid, so they can pull the wool over their eyes much easier.

Our children barely know how government runs, never mind what it is or what it is supposed to do. They have no idea how to choose a representative. It seems whoever is cuter or has a nicer smile or promises to make someone feel good gets elected. Most of our elected officials whether they be municipal, provincial/state or federal no longer have the backbone required to do what they have historically been mandated to do - REPRESENT THEIR CONSTITUENTS :!:

As long as our citizens do not understand what their role - what their duty is and how to execute that duty, things will not change. Same with Jury Duty. Everyone tries their damnedest to escape, find some reason why they cannot discharge this basic of civic duties.....

We need to somehow electrify our citizenry to become involved, state their opinions and do so on a regular basis. Your example of losing by just one vote, is a perfect example of how one person can actually change the outcome of an election, change how government is run or do almost anything.

Special interest groups, lobbyists and others of their ilk need to be controlled in their access to government. When a few garner more power than the people (by whom the Constitution of both our countries guarantees the right to be heard and to make law), we will end up seeing more of this so-called "totalitarian democracy" invade our society and eventually destroy our freedoms.

As I have said so many times in my emails, and say it to every politician, student, teacher and citizen I come across:

It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves under the flag, and
whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.

If you want to keep all that they have sacrificed - VOTE :!: Excersise your basic most unalienable right - excercise your franchise. If you don't - be quiet :!:

btw, sometimes the soldier is not just the guy or gal who puts on the uniform, but is Joe and Jo-ann Citizen who stands up for what they believe in!

In God We Trust :!: All else is but shifting sand.....

Sun Oct 10, 2004 2:59 pm

MONEY and GUNS are the same...... It can be used for good or for evil. The good and evil is the way in which it is used BY the individual in control. People who want to take away your guns think "GUNS ARE THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL". Like someone said before, it's just a political football and sounds good to the people who are emotionally involved. One other thing.... Don't ever believe they can't take your gun rights away. They'll chip away at it, little by little. Until they know where most of them are and come knocking at your door..................